The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, sent a congratulatory message to H.E. Dr. Djacoba Liva Tehindrazanarivelo, for his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar.
In the text of his letter, the Cuban Foreign Minister also reiterates Cuba's willingness to continue strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, which have been maintained continuously for several decades.
Nasiu Bello, Coach for the National Table Tennis Federation (NTTF), on Tuesday denied speculations that Nigeria had crashed out of the 2020 Olympics set to hold in Tokyo.
Bello told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that the qualification stages for the Olympic were in five parts.
He added that Nigeria had lost just one of the stages which is the mixed double event.
“We have not crashed out of the 2020 Olympics. We have Aruna, who is 18th in the world, he is working towards qualification with this ranking.
“There are three qualifying stages in the Olympics, which are; team event, single event, mixed doubles, for both genders.
“Nigeria did not qualify for team event only, we still have the single, mixed double qualifying stages, which are still ongoing.
“This qualifying stages are scheduled to hold from Feb. 23 to Feb. 29, African single cup in Tunisia, Madagascar,” he said.
Bello also disclosed that some home-based players were on ground for training while others in the Diaspora were been monitored.
“Preparations are ongoing, presently we are in an open camp, before we begin the closed camp.
“I also coach the athletes in Diaspora who are participating in the different qualifying stages to ensure NTTF athletes bring victory back home by the grace of God,” he said.
Also, Bello Fatiha, representing Nigeria in the top 16 women singles event in Tunisia, said she was aiming to qualify for the Olympics.
“This is the final qualifying stage for African top 16, I will make through this stage.
“I am preparing adequately for the Tokyo 2020 and my focus is on the cup, by the grace of God,” she said.
Azeez Sholanke, a junior player, said a lot of positive outcomes should be expected from him and his fellow players for this sporting year.
He added that dedication and rigorous training would help enhance their output for the tournament.
“We have been putting in a lot of energy, dedication for the different sporting events of this year.
“We are in an open camp, which will be for a while before the closed camp takes off.
“The closed camp will give room for better preparation, which is key, the Europeans are skillful players.
“We at the NTTF are putting in more zeal for a victorious result this year by the grace of God.
“Only the best should be expected from us,” he said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi
Miss Adetola Adenmosun, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Head of Communication Unit of Youth in Agri-business Office, has said that it recorded tremendous success in its agri-business activities in 2019.
Adenmosun made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Ibadan.
She said 2019 was eventful, from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin, to Togo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Sudan, Madagascar, DR Congo and Zambia.
According to her, one of the highlights of the year for the team was winning the 2019 International Innovation Award for sustainable food and agriculture.
The award, she said, was in recognition of its commitment to improving both agribusiness opportunities and creditworthiness of youth across Africa.
She said that the award, funded by the Government of Switzerland and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), was in two categories.
Adenmosun added that IITA Youth Agriprenuer (IYA) emerged successful in the second category, which focused on recognising institutions that had innovatively contributed to sustainable food and agriculture.
“FAO recognizes the important role IYA has played in providing innovations that empowered youths to participate in securing the future through sustainable food and agricultural systems.
“The award was presented during the 41st conference of FAO at its headquarters in Rome, with high-level delegations across the globe in attendance on June 26, 2019.
“On receiving the award, IYA proposed to set-up an agribusiness incubation programme that would provide training and empower young people in the Republic of Benin with the prize money.
“Consequently, IYA organised a launch workshop on the Sept. 19, 2019 for the different stakeholders to unite and discuss ways to achieve their goals of establishing a youth coordinating office in the country.
“Also in the year, some of the agripreneurs trained scaled the hurdles of registering their businesses with the food regulatory body in Nigeria,” she said.
Adenmosun further stated that two spin-offs of IITA youth agripreneurs, Frotchery Farms Limited and Gracevine Agribusiness Limited, secured the certification of NAFDAC in 2019.
According to her, the certification, coming after three years of continuous application, will enable the two companies owned by IYA trained graduates to make their products available across the Nigerian market.
She added that the creation of the group was one of the outcomes of IYA, as highlighted in the organisation’s strategy which stated that about 40 percent of the members would become self-employed by establishing independent agribusiness enterprises or organisations.
“It was created to operate as a profitable organization. While engaging youths in agri-business; YAGL serves as a link between IYA and the private sector.
“It is registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and it provides agribusiness consultancy services, capacity building, and advocacy services.
“Becoming an Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) is another major feat achieved by IYA in 2019.
“This feat provides an avenue where many agripreneurs can access single-digit loans from the Nigerian government for business operations.
She, however, expressed the hope that 2020 would be a year of bigger and daring agribusiness exploits, as a lot of programmes had been lined up to get more youths actively and productively engaged in agriculture.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and ‘Wale Sadeeq
FIFA is ending its six-month intervention in African soccer’s governing body, it said on Sunday, after the mission to speed up the reform of football on the continent was “successfully completed”.
World soccer’s ruling body also confirmed that its secretary general Fatma Samoura’s role as “general delegate for Africa” had ended on Feb. 1.
FIFA effectively took over the running of African football after the corruption scandals which consumed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last year, including allegations against CAF president Ahmad Ahmad which he has denied.
FIFA confirmed at the time that Ahmad, a former cabinet minister in his native Madagascar, was being investigated by its ethics committee although he was not suspended.
Ahmad was also briefly detained and questioned by French authorities in June as part of a corruption investigation.
A number of proposals were presented to the CAF executive committee in Rabat on Sunday following the end of the mission, FIFA said.
These included the creation of a group of professional referees, financed by FIFA in partnership with CAF, and the creating of a $1 billion fund to invest in infrastructure, including stadiums, in all 54 African member associations.
It was also proposed to create a pan-African league, outlined by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a speech on Saturday, and seek new initiatives in women’s football, youth categories and national team competitions. A 100-point “good governance” plan was also proposed.
“FIFA is satisfied that the joint effort made with CAF was done and delivered within the initial proposed time frame,” FIFA said.
“(It) reiterates FIFA’s commitment to be at the disposal of African football to assist in the process of raising its level to the top of the world.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Youth in Agripreneurs (IYA) Office, on Wednesday said its 2019 achievement was to provide avenue for agripreneurs to access single-digit loans from Nigerian government.
Miss Adetola Adenmosun, the Head of Communication Unit, IYA Office said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Ibadan.
She said other achievements were winning 2019 International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture and some agripreneurs scaling the hurdle of registering their businesses with the food regulatory body in the country.
She said others were the establishment of the youth group known as Youth Agripreneurship Global Limited (YAGL).
According to her, accessing the single-digit loan is possible with IYA becoming an Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in 2019.
“As an EDI, IYA facilitates short entrepreneurship training for youths and subsequently certifies and recommends them to financial institutions which provides loan at five per cent interest rate for them to establish micro, small, and medium scale enterprises.
“2019 was eventful for IYA from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin, Togo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Sudan, Madagascar, DR Congo and Zambia.
“The team won the 2019 International Innovation Award for sustainable food and agriculture in recognition of its commitment to improving both agribusiness opportunities and creditworthiness of youth across Africa.
“The award is in two categories and is funded by the Government of Switzerland and the Food and Agricultural Organisation.
“IYA emerged winner in the second category which recognises institutions whose innovations contribute to sustainable food and agriculture.
“FAO recognises the important role IYA has played in providing innovations that empower youth to participate in securing the future through sustainable food and agricultural systems.
“The award was presented during the 41st conference of the FAO at its Headquarters in Rome with high-level government representatives across the globe in attendance on June 26, 2019.
“On receiving the award, IYA proposed to set up an agribusiness incubation programme that provides training and empowers young people in the Republic of Benin with the prize money,” she said.
Adenmosun said that IYA organised a launch workshop on the Sept. 19 for the different stakeholders involved in ensuring the success of youth projects in Benin Republic to unite and discuss ways to achieve their goal of establishing a youth coordinating office in the country.
She said that some of the two spin-offs of IYA, Frotchery Farms Ltd. and Gracevine Agribusiness Ltd. secured the certification of NAFDAC in 2019, after three years of continuous application.
Adenmosun said the certification would enable the two companies owned by IYA trained graduates to make their product available across the Nigerian market.
“Frotchery Farms Ltd. is into the production of smoked catfish while Gracevine Venture produces beans and yam flour,” she said.
She said that the youth group, YAGL established as one of the its organisation’s strategy that about 40 per cent of the members would become self-employed by either establishing independent agribusiness enterprises or organisations.
She said it was created to operate as a profitable organisation while engaging youths in agri-business, adding that YAGL served as a link between IYA and the private sector.
Adenmosun said that YAGL was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission and it provides agribusiness consultancy services, capacity building and advocacy services.
She said that 2020 would be daring agribusiness exploits for IYA as many programmes had been lined up to get more youths actively and productively engaged in agriculture.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Grace Yussuf
Ethiopia caused the first real shock of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers when they came from behind to stun the Ivory Coast with a 2-1 victory in their Group K clash in Bahir Dar on Tuesday.
Serge Aurier gave the Ivorians an early lead when he knocked in a rebound after Max Gradel’s free kick had been parried into his path by home goalkeeper Abel Mamo.
Yet Ethiopia were level on 16 minutes as Surafel Dagnachew’s free kick was deflected in off the wall, before Shemeles Bekele shrugged off two defenders, and a shout for handball, to score the winner midway through the opening period.
Madagascar continued their fine recent form in the other game in the pool with a thumping 6-2 victory over Niger in Niamey.
The win is the biggest ever on the road in Nations Cup qualifiers for Madagascar and puts them top of the group with a full haul of six points from their two games.
Madagascar was 4-1 up at halftime thanks to a brace by Lalaina Nomenjanahary, and goals from Anicet (penalty) and Andria.
Paulin Voavy and Jerome Mombris added two more in the second period.
Niger had taken an early lead through Amadou Wonkoye before being stung by six unanswered goals. Yusif Moussa grabbed a late consolation for them.
A brace from striker Khama Billiat sealed a precious 2-1 away victory for Zimbabwe in Zambia.
Patson Daka had equalised for the Zambians in the opening period, but Billiat profited from a defensive lapse to net the winner 10 minutes from fulltime.
Noussair Mazraoui scored a first ever goal for Morocco as they eased to a 3-0 victory in Burundi, with Youssef En-Nesyri and Achraf Hakimi netting the others.
The other match in Group E saw Mauritania claim a 2-0 home win over Central African Republic as Moctar El Hacen and Diallo Guidileye scored.
Wahbi Khazri scored the only goal as Tunisia moved to the top of Group J with a full haul of six points following victory over Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.
In the other game in the pool, Libya rallied from a goal down to defeat Tanzania 2-1 in neutral Monastir.
Mbwana Samata put Tanzania ahead with a penalty in the first half, before the home side were also awarded a spot-kick that Sand Masaud converted. Anis Saltou netted the winner on 81 minutes.
Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)
A ground-breaking study reveals that seven in 10 workers are self-employed or in small businesses, a finding that has significant implications for employment and enterprise support policies world-wide.
According to the new International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates, self-employment, micro and small enterprises play a far more important role in providing jobs than previously believed.
The Data, gathered in 99 countries, found that the so-called ‘small economic units’ together account for 70 per cent of total employment, making them by far the most important drivers of employment.
The findings have “highly relevant” implications for policies and programmes on job creation, job quality, start-ups, enterprise productivity and job formalisation, which, the report says, need to focus more on these small economic units.
The study also found that an average of 62 per cent of employment in these 99 countries is in the informal sector, where working conditions in general tend to be inferior, (i.e. a lack of social security, lower wages, poor occupational safety and health and weaker industrial relations).
The informality level varies widely, ranging from more than 90 per cent in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar to less than five per cent in Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam and Switzerland.
The information is published in a new ILO report, Small matters: Global evidence on the contribution to employment by the self-employed, micro-enterprises and SMEs.
The report finds that in high-income countries, 58 per cent of total employment is in small economic units, while in low and middle-income countries, the proportion is considerably higher.
In countries with the lowest income levels, the proportion of employment in small economic units is almost 100 per cent, the report says.
ILO estimates draw on national household and labour force surveys, gathered in all regions except North America, rather than using the more traditional source of enterprise surveys that tend to have more limited scope.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the employment contribution of so-called small economic units has been estimated, in comparative terms, for such a large group of countries, particularly low and middle income countries,” said Dragan Radic, Head of the ILO’s Small and Medium Enterprises Unit.
The report advises that supporting small economic units should be a central part of economic and social development strategies.
It highlights the importance of creating an enabling environment for such businesses, ensuring that they have effective representation and that social dialogue models also work for them.
Other recommendations include understanding how enterprise productivity is shaped by a wider “ecosystem“, facilitating access to finance and markets, advancing women’s entrepreneurship, and encouraging the transition towards the formal economy and environmental sustainability.
Alexandria (Egypt), July 7, 2019 NNNMadagascar on Sunday in Alexandria kept up their fairytale run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
They advanced to the quarter-finals with a 4-2 penalty kicks shootout win over the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was after a 2-2 extra-time stalemate in their last 16 tie.
The tournament debutants had upset Nigeria to finish top of their group.
They added another major scalp by edging the two-time champions to set up a meeting with either Tunisia or Ghana in the last eight.
Ibrahim Amada had opened the scoring for Madagascar in the ninth minute but Cedric Bakambu equalised in the 21st minute.
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
Parliamentary election kicks off in Madagascar
A total of 810 candidates are competing for 151 seats at the national assembly, according to the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
Meanwhile, 10,302,194 voters registered in the voter list headed to the polls in 25,388 polling stations throughout the island, the INEC said.
Polling stations opened at 6:00 a.m. local time and will close at 5:00 p.m. local time.
Xinhua correspondents on the spot saw the low turnout of voters compared to the presidential elections held in November.
After voting at the ex-agricultural college of Ambatobe in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina called on voters to fulfil their civic duty.
“I am ready to work with all those who aspire to the development of the country’’, he said.
The INEC president Hery Rakotomanana called also voters to perform their duty of citizen and vote in peace.
He also asked all candidates to follow closely the election and to wait in calm the results of the votes.
Global measles count up 300% in first quarter – WHO
WHO reported that recorded numbers betweeen January and March were 300 per cent higher than in the same period in 2018.
Although, the disease could be prevented if 95 per cent of the population were immunised.
The UN health agency reported that global coverage for the first dose of the two-step vaccination has stalled at 85 per cent for several years.
According to the report, global coverage for the second dose is only 67 per cent.
There are current outbreaks in countries including Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine.
Infections have increased in countries with high overall immunisation rates, such as the U.S. and Israel.
According to latest available fatality numbers, measles killed almost 110,000 people in 2017.